top of page

Vintage original 31.5 x 47.25 in. "country of origin" French half grande poster from the French teens WWI-themed war drama, J'ACCUSE, released in 1919 by Pathé and directed by Abel Gance.


The dramatic design features artwork by Misti and depcits the lead character, Jean Diaz (Romuald Joubé), standing next to the body of his deceased mother (Mancini) lying inside of their home as he points at his decorated military jacket that is covering her body. He is accusing the subject of war for his mother's death as well as for all of the other problems caused by world conflicts.


This French poster is a  stone lithograph, which produces very fine details and rich, bold colors. Professionally linen-backed, it is in very fine condition with very slight color touch-up applied to the folds. The poster also had a minor horizontal crease towards the center, a minor chip in the right border, and a mild tear in Romuald Joubés sleeve. There are unaddressed tax and ink stamps in the upper background, one of which is dated May 12, 1919 (the film was originally released in France on April 25, 1919).


This is a very rare poster from a landmark film of the French cinema and one of the greatest anti-war films ever made. 


*"J'accuse is a 1919 French silent film directed by Abel Gance. It juxtaposes a romantic drama with the background of the horrors of World War I, and it is sometimes described as a pacifist or anti-war film. Work on the film began in 1918, and some scenes were filmed on real battlefields. The film's powerful depiction of wartime suffering, and particularly its climactic sequence of the "return of the dead", made it an international success, and confirmed Gance as one of the most important directors in Europe.


For the film's opening title, a large group of soldiers, filmed from above, is formed up to shape the letters J...A...C...C...U...S...E. In the middle of preparing the shot, a general asked Gance what was happening. Gance stalled until the shot was complete, and then explained to the startled general that he was "accusing the war... accusing men... accusing universal stupidity". In the final scenes of the film, Gance's accusations, through the mouth of Jean Diaz, seem to be levelled against those who have not cared enough – the civilians who enjoyed another life, or those who profited from the war, or who simply forgot what it meant. The soldiers risen from the dead are said to be content to return to their rest once reassured by the living that their sacrifice has not been in vain. Diaz's final accusation is made against the sun for being a mute witness to so much horror.


When J'accuse was first shown in France in April 1919, it was a great success with the public, whose mood in the aftermath of the war it seemed to capture. Its acclaim continued when it was shown in London in May 1920, at the Philharmonic Hall with a 40-piece orchestra and a professional choir (and without being shown to the British Board of Film Censors). The reviewer in The Times, while finding it "a trifle uneven", noted that familiar incidents of war stories were "set forth with more conviction, and at the same time with more bitterness, than they have ever been before". He was also deeply impressed by the vision of the awakening of the dead from the battlefield, and paid it the final tribute that "a film has caused an audience to think".Gance received a telegram from Pathé's London agent saying, "Your name in England is, at present, more famous than Griffith's"

*(source: Wikipedia)



J'ACCUSE (1919) French Half Grande Poster By Misti

    bottom of page